Bluetooth Plans For Palm In The Works

Broadcom and Palm announced plans to develop a Bluetooth architecture for the next generation of Palm's handheld computers.

Broadcom Corp. and Palm Inc. on Wednesday announced plans to develop a Bluetooth architecture for the next generation of Palms handheld computers.

The architecture will be based on Broadcoms Blutonium line of transceivers that use the Bluetooth protocol for short-range wireless connections. Palm handhelds enabled with Bluetooth will be able to communicate wirelessly at rates of about 1 Mb per second with Bluetooth-enabled printers, phones or other devices without the line-of-sight connection required by infrared technologies.

For enterprise purposes, Bluetooth-enabled Palm devices could share information with one another in an ad hoc wireless network known under the Bluetooth spec as a piconet. In a piconet, up to eight Bluetooth devices can connect. While the current Bluetooth specification does not include a profile for PAN (personal area networking), the PAN profile is expected this year.

The brainchild of Ericsson AB, which wanted a way for phones to communicate with other nearby devices without cables, Bluetooth has been around in various stages for about three years, but adoption has been slow. It has been hampered by disagreements over certain profiles, high component prices, and interference with and competition with the 802.11b wireless LAN protocol. Support by Palm should help, as should Microsoft Corp.s recent announcement that Bluetooth is supported in its latest embedded operating system,